Just when you thought “they” had gone away, maybe receded into the not-so-distant past, all of a sudden a prescient columnist writes something that startles us, brings us back to jarring political reality—and a distinct possibility that those we thought departed may indeed be coming back.
No; I’m not talking about the Clintons. They have been around since the late 1980s on the national scene, occupying various positions from the presidency to Secretary of State, with Hillary playing an in-character Lady Macbeth to President Bill’s lascivious and predatory monarch. It was she—to continue the Shakespearean analogy—who wielded the bloody dagger, whether dealing with those infamous “bimbo eruptions” or overseeing the raking in of the millions in “Clinton cash.”
Although through the years predictions of the Clintons’ final demise have often been exaggerated and pundits have gotten their survivability prospects wrong (most notably after President Bill’s escape from conviction in the Monica Lewinsky/impeachment situation), it would seem that after Hillary’s humiliating and mostly unforeseen defeat in last year’s presidential election, we may have seen the last of “the man from Hope [Arkansas]” and his dragon-lady—as national figures and candidates. At least we can earnestly hope so.
Given the hoped-for departure of the Clintons as titular heads of the Democratic Party, that leaves a vacuum over on the broader American Left. It is not only the Republican Party that is and will be experiencing political turmoil (between the Establishment and the Deplorables). Even three years out from the presidential election of 2020, there is already talk—and concern—on the Democratic side about who might be in a position to challenge President Donald Trump when he comes up for re-election.
Talk swirls around far leftist Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, maybe former Vice-President Joe Biden, New Jersey Senator Cory Booker, or maybe some, as yet mostly unknown backbencher, or even—if he is still breathing!—Bernie Sanders.
Each of those figures brings something to the potential contest, but each one also carries significant undesirable political baggage, as well.
Sanders remains a sentimental favorite of the loony Left; but he would be 79 in September 2020. And while octogenarianism is no impediment to election success or holding an elected position, it is hard to envisage such a scenario where age would not play a significant role. Ronald Reagan was a few days shy of his seventy-eighth birthday when he leftoffice. But no other American president reached that summit while in office. Of course, European monarchs Kaiser Franz Joseph I of Austria-Hungary ruled until he was 86 (1916), and Queen Victoria reigned until she was 81 (1901)—but the monarchical system is quite different from our electoral system.
“Pocahontas” Warren, the darling of the extreme far Left—a politician who makes those old Soviet Commissars seem like “conservatives”—would, of course, unite and bring in all the lunatic “crazies” and would mobilize the tony, upscale and trendy—mostly white—neighborhoods in San Jose and Silicon Valley, San Francisco, Portland, Seattle, and Boston-Cambridge. She also might rally Hispanic Democrats. But her selection would solidify and magnify GOP ascendancy in the “rust belt” and in states that have substantial blue collar workers that were once thought Democrat strongholds (e.g., Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, etc.). Her nomination would signal the final Democrat back-turning on a traditional constituency that once was critical to any victory they secured nationally.
Would the Democrats actually do this? Has the nation actually changed so radically that such a strategy, dependent on the lunatic left, would be implemented?
There are no “moderates” left in the Democratic Party, but those remnants who at least have not fully embraced the febrile madness of the West-East coast lunatics—let us call them the Democratic “establishment”—are thrashing about, with the name Joe Biden most frequently on their pursed lips. Yet, Biden would be 77 on election day in 2020, younger than Sanders, but still, would the establishment Dems take that risk? Perhaps, if desperate.
Then, there is Senator Cory Booker, the black junior US senator from New Jersey, who has emitted murmurs of interest in the top executive position. He could appeal to the Democratic Party black constituency. Yet, Booker lacks the contacts and the stature of the other possible candidates; he is also relatively inexperienced and visibly ambitious. But, then, so was Jack Kennedy back in 1960.
And that brings me to what I would call “the nightmare scenario” candidate (for Trump supporters and grass roots Deplorables), and that candidate would be Michelle Obama. And it would mean the return of “them.”
Arguably, she could bring together all of the factions and tendencies within the Democratic Party…it would not be easy, but she would be well-placed to accomplish that task. She would still have problems with the “rust belt” and with the South, but she would undoubtedly perform better than, say, Senator Warren, in those regions. As a prominent black woman and former First Lady, she is much better known than Cory Booker among minority constituencies. And, having been in the White House and having made all the “correct connections,” she would not scare off the Democrat establishment types….
The critical question would be: would she wish to go through the punishing prospect of a two year preparation and campaign, all the fundraising, and posterior-smacking? Would she want to go up in a no-holds-barred contest against Donald Trump?
The major advantage Michelle Obama has—in Democratic thinking—is that she comes across to millions of unwary and brainwashed voters as “re-assuring” while at heart sharing the radical Left vision and desire to deconstruct and transform the America we have known. And given the advantage of her race and the exhibited cowardice of much of the GOP leadership when dealing with black candidates (“Please don’t call me a racist!”), she would begin already with a major leg up in any contest.
And for that reason she would be extremely dangerous if she decided to make the run. To defeat her would require a steely resolve, the best talent and the willingness to employ issues that far too many Republicans (and conservatives) seem to fear. But it would be possible and doable.
Writer and columnist Mike Whitney has written an excellent article on this topic, and to develop and broaden my comments, I offer his provocative essay today. [http://www.unz.com/mwhitney/